After a break of more than five months, Rylan Clark-Neal has returned to Twitter. The presenter split from his husband Dan Neal earlier this summer and said he was focusing on his mental health.
“So…. What did I miss?” the 32-year-old asked his 1.6m followers in his first tweet since April.
In July, Clark-Neal released a statement saying he and his husband were “currently prioritising our mental health and looking after the ones around us we love most.”
He added: “I am working towards getting back to the jobs I love in due course. Thank you for being patient with me.”
It’s encouraging to see a celebrity speaking openly about the negative side of social media and the need to recognise when it may be time to have a digital detox.
So, whether you’ve been through a break up or just need to focus on your mental health without a constant stream of social media adding to your stress and anxiety, here’s when you might want to consider a break too.
1. Your phone is the first thing you look at in the morning
Do you immediately grab your phone the minute you wake up to check your emails, reply to Whatsapp messages or scroll Instagram?
The same way some people crave caffeine, your brain may be hooked on the dopamine buzz you get every time you see a notification on your phone.
2. …and the last thing at night
Sleep experts say that we should avoid screens of all kinds for an hour before bed, as the blue light they emit can prevent you from falling asleep.
If you find yourself messing around on your phone in bed or even checking it when you wake up during the night, you might want to consider turning it off completely or banning devices from the bedroom and using an alarm clock instead.
3. You procrastinate too much
There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks, catching up on messages or sharing funny memes, but when you use certain sites to scroll mindlessly and put off work or essential tasks it can really affect your productivity. App blocks can be really useful for helping you stop procrastinating.
4. You’re never ‘in the moment’
Like a music fan viewing an entire concert through their phone screen, if you’re constantly thinking ‘This would make an amazing Instagram post’ instead of enjoying that delicious meal/beautiful sunset/cute puppy, chances are you’re not living ‘in the moment’.
A digital detox can help you be more mindful and appreciate the little things in life.
5. It’s affecting your mental health
Social media can be a source of fun and a great way to keep in touch with loved ones, but if scrolling on Instagram makes you feel anxious or depressed because you’re comparing yourself to the heavily filtered and edited versions of friends, influencers or celebrities it’s not good for your mental health.
Similarly, if getting in arguments about politics with family members on Facebook leaves you feeling angry and frustrated, it’s time to take a step back and remember that you don’t have to engage with – or even look at – their posts if you don’t want to.
6. People say ‘You’re always on your phone’
Sometimes, we don’t even realise how detrimental our digital habits are until someone else points it out.
If friends or family have complained that you’re always glued to your smartphone, you may be missing out on quality time and real-life connections.
A digital detox could be what you need to break the cycle and stop you being so dependent on your device.